I have been working on a body of work for the past ten years that challenges the distinction between functional furniture and sculpture. In my most recent work I am exploring the idea of “Guardian Chairs” inspired by guardian figures from cultures around the world. My work combines a whimsical, aesthetic sensibility with extensive woodworking and fabrication experience. My pieces are comprised of organic flowing forms of creatures with disproportionate appendages reminiscent of the natural world and art from other cultures, and infused with my imagination. My process of creation is much like that of an expressionist painter in that I am constantly adding and subtracting to the piece in response to the nature of the materials. Different types of wood are selected to create the “color,” which is then laminated and carved to develop the parts for assembly. Inlaid areas are combined with larger, simpler surfaces of a single wood type. For the last twenty-five I have worked in museums as an art handler. It has been a wonderful opportunity for me to study and admire some great pieces of art. Some of my favorites are guardian figures from the Reliquary of the Kongo, the Buddhist Nio figures from Japan guarding the temples, and the Tang tomb guardians from China that protect the dead. Unlike the Tang Dynasty figures, my chairs are for the living. I believe that everyday items can be art and are to be used, viewed, discussed and enjoyed. These are protective creatures reflective of humanity’s consistent need for talisman, charms, amulets, and in general, assistance shielding from the disturbances and “evils” of life. Historically humans have always turned to these objects, which are both religiously and culturally based. My chairs are a contemporary take on a very old idea that I expect will continue for as long as humans exist.